An honorary Doctorate of Letters is bestowed upon Ms. Darlene Coward Wight in recognition of her tireless dedication to preserve, promote, and celebrate art created and produced by Canada’s Inuit.
Ms. Wight arrived in Winnipeg in 1986 to fulfill the position of Associate Curator, Inuit Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG). Immediately after taking the helm from her excellent predecessors, Ms. Wight enacted visionary innovations, exploring new ways to expand the collection and communicate its importance. Since 1986 she has mounted an astonishing 76 exhibitions. Her exhibitions focus on alternating themes, artists, communities and regions. She has courted important collectors and organized major solo exhibitions of trailblazing artists such as Kiugak Ashoona, Napachie Pootoogook, Abraham Anghik Ruben and Andrew Qappik.
For her research Ms. Wight has ventured into Canada’s Arctic to conduct countless in-depth interviews with artists from many communities, especially in the Kitikmeot and Baffin regions. Her dedicated commitment to identifying artists and correctly attributing artwork, in particular the work of those artists who are no longer with us, are considerable achievements which will provide a lasting legacy for future scholars and researchers in the field of Inuit Art. In 1998, she was appointed Curator of Inuit Art at the WAG.
Ms. Wight has published 20 illustrated catalogues and many shorter brochures. Of recent note are the award-winning: Early Masters: Inuit Sculpture 1949-1955 (published in 2006) and The Harry Winrob Collection of Inuit Sculpture (published in 2008) both published by the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Hot of the press is her most recent publication Creation and Transformation: Defining Moments in Inuit Art co-published by Douglas and McIntyre with the WAG. This major art book describes the genesis and evolution of contemporary Inuit Art from 1949 to the present day. It will support the extraordinary exhibition of the same name which will open in January 2013 as part of the WAG’s 100th anniversary programming and feature key pieces from the WAG’s comprehensive collection of almost 12,000 works of Inuit Art.
She was a regular contributor to Inuit Art Quarterly and has authored 47 articles, papers and invited lectures. She has lectured at the University of Manitoba and at universities and art centres across Canada, the United States, and Europe.
She began studying art history at Carleton University in Ottawa and in 1980 she earned her Master’s degree, passing with distinction. In 1981, still in Ottawa, she worked as the Fine Arts Curator for Canadian Arctic Producers, a wholesale art marketing arm of Arctic Co-operatives Limited (CAP). This experience, obtained at the very beginning of her professional career, set her on an incredible journey which has continuously feed her curiosity and sense of adventure. Captivated by the realness and tactile nature of the Inuit Art work she was handling at CAP within months she made her first trip to the North to learn first-hand from the artists themselves what their work was really about.
Anyone who has ever had the fortunate opportunity to hear Ms. Wight speak about Inuit Art quickly learns that she, remarkably, possesses a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of the topic and an inexhaustible, almost contagious, passion for the subject. For decades, through her curatorial excellence and scholarship, Inuit Art has become an integral part of our Canadian national identity.
Today, Ms. Wight is honoured for her unwavering efforts to celebrate and illuminate art, and for amplifying the voices of Inuit artists for generations to come.
Wednesday, October 18, 2012, 3:30 pm
Paul E. Garfinkle
Dr. Paul Garfinkel is awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of his determination to challenge preconceived notions of mental disorders and to pioneer new ways of thinking about, and treating, disease.
Dr. Garfinkel graduated from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine in 1969. After completing his residency in Toronto, Dr. Garfinkel became a specialist in psychiatry and entered practice as well as teaching duties in 1974. His career is characterized by the honours bestowed upon him by prestigious institutions and governing bodies, such as the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals.
His research focuses on eating disorders, pernicious illnesses that hijack minds and starve bodies. His main focus is anorexia nervosa, a notorious disorder that affects primarily young women across Canada and the globe, robbing them of the vigor and vitality that should characterize their youth. Dr. Garfinkel has dedicated his life to helping these young women regain control of their minds and bodies. His passion and courage propelled him to challenge his colleagues to think about eating disorders in new ways. His scholarship is well regarded and recognized around the world. He has published 155 refereed journal articles, 10 books, 82 book chapters, and many other publications over the course of his trendsetting career.
Dr. Garfinkel has also distinguished himself as an administrator: he has served as head of the University of Toronto’s department of psychiatry, as psychiatrist-in-chief at the Toronto General Hospital, and president and CEO of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, also in Toronto. From 1998 to 2009, he served as the founding president and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). This centre was created after four independent facilities merged together to form the largest mental illness and addictions treatment facility in Canada. Dr. Garfinkel led this visionary merger – which included infrastructure development and capital campaigns – all while fostering a new public understanding of, and support for, mental health and addiction treatment. Through his innovative approach, CAMH has transformed into an urban village that has de-institutionalized patient care.
In 1996, Dr. Garfinkel was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2008 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. Today, his alma mater honours his courage and vision to pursue and share an improved understanding of contemporary society’s most serious mental disorders.
Thursday, October 19, 2012, 3:30 pm